Axes and hatchets might look shiny when new but these are actually very old tools that date back to the ancient world.
Axes are generally larger than hatchets, with longer handles that can be held by two hands so as to balance its load well. This makes it possible to thrust it quickly and accurately for a perfect, high-impact strike.
On the other hand, hatchets are much smaller than axes and are generally designed for use with one hand because they have shorter handles.
Regardless of the size, these tools have pretty much the same uses, although axes are much better for doing the “heavy” jobs because of their size. Their uses are described in detail below.
1. Splitting Wood
Whether you are outdoors camping or at home preparing for the winter, wood splitting is very important if you want to build a fire. There are wood splitting machines that you can use for this task but the most basic way to do it is to use an ax.
Apart from that, you will also need kindling or tinder to help you in starting up the fire. For this, a hatchet is the best tool to use and it can be simply done by holding one of the pieces of the split wood and shaving it into small pieces.
2. Gathering Material for Camping
One of the most important uses of camping axes and hatchets is to assist in gathering material for the camp.
Most campers carry heavy luggage containing most of the equipment required to survive out in the wild. However, real outdoor people prefer going light, with only the necessary tools for survival.
With a hatchet, gathering strong branches as well as rope-like branches for tying pieces together, leaves and other items will be much easier, and this will enable you to have a better chance of surviving out there.
3. Building a Shelter
As described earlier, axes and hatchets can be used to gather materials for camping and part of these materials include the building blocks for setting up a DIY shelter in the bush.
However, this does not mean that the tools are useless if you brought your own tents to the camp. When setting up a tent, you need to drive down pegs for holding it in position come rain, wind or snow.
You can bring along a hammer for this but an ax or hatchet is better off because it is more versatile, which means it can be utilized for other uses.
The back side of ax or hatchet head is usually shaped like a hammer and this is very useful for driving tent stakes deep into the ground for anchorage.
All the other uses of axes and hatchets can be done by a person who is not really an expert in using these tools. However, for hunting purposes, you must master how to properly use them.
Basically, you must learn how to grip the ax or hatchet and how to throw it. Axes are best thrown using both hands but hatchets require only one hand and by learning how to do this, you will perfect your aiming capabilities.
After learning this, use the tools to hunt for food in the woods so as to keep your energy high for survival.
5. Slaughtering Game
Of course, the next step after landing a catch is to slaughter it. Well, a knife is preferred for undressing the skin and cutting the meat into smaller pieces but if you have ever prepared wild game, you know the importance of larger and heavier tools for breaking the heavy bones or opening up rib cages.
These heavy tools make it much easier to prepare the animal as compared to using only a camping knife.
Apart from hunting, hatchets and the longer axes are very useful defense tools. It is not uncommon to hear of a hunter becoming the hunted, after encountering dangerous animals such as snakes or even 4 legged predators.
In such a case, the weight of either one of these tools will give a big blow to the animal you are facing, and this gives you a better chance of immobilizing or even killing it before it harms you.
Carving is something that you can do to pass time when the day gets hot or boring. When camping, there are times when its too hot or too cold to go outside and you might find yourself playing games on your phone or fidgeting.
Well, since you are outdoors, the best way to utilize your free time is to do something that is related to the outdoor experience such as carving.
Not only is this an interesting thing to do, but also it helps you gain some skills. All you have to do is sharpen your hatchet, look for a piece of wood and find a suitable place to transfer the design in your mind to the piece of wood.
8. Cutting Through Snow and Ice
Another important use of these tools is to cut through snow and ice, especially if you go camping high up in the mountains.
A good example of this is when you find a frozen river or lake surface and you want to access the water for fishing. Obviously, a camp knife cannot help you with this and thus, an ax will come in very handy to help you crack open the water surface and get your fish.
9. Fire Starting
Starting a fire using a hatchet is not very common, but it is possible. Basically, this is done by striking a rock using the sharp edge of the hatchet so as to create sparks. Due to its difficulty, this is usually considered as the last of the last options, when your lighter or matchbox fails.
These are just a few things that you can do with an ax or hatchet. Their application areas are quite many and whether you are using them at home or out in the woods, you can always find something new that requires the services of either one of them. Know what you can do else with your axe on the blog: https://morninghomestead.com/
Therefore, whenever you are buying tools for home use or to carry to your camping expedition, remember to include a hatchet or an ax or even both in your list as essential tools.
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